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Chinese Bronzes of the Shang and Zhou Periods
Han Dynasty Bronzes
Early Chinese Ceramics
Sculpture from Tombs
Chinese Buddhist Sculpture
Tang and Liao Dynasty Metalwork
Ceramics of the Song and Jin Periods
Porcelains of the Yuan and Early Ming Periods
Imperial Chinese Ceramics of the 15th Century
Ceramics of the Late Ming Period
Qing Dynasty Porcelain
Landscape Painting in China
Jade and Lacquer in China
China, Jiangxi Province; Ming period (1368-1644), late 14th - early 15th century
Porcelain with glaze (Jingdezhen ware)
H. 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm); D. 17 3/8 in. (44.1 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
This large, glazed porcelain platter has the Indian Mughal emperor Shah Jahan's name inscribed in the glaze on the exterior (and the weight inscribed on the base). Shah Jahan (reigned 1627 - 1658) is famous for his patronage of the arts -- in particular, the building of the Taj Mahal -- and he is also known to have been a collector of ceramics. Although there are no extant imperial collections from either the Mughal or Rajput courts of India comparable to those found in Turkey or Iran, and much less is known about the nature of imperial collecting in India, references to Chinese porcelains found in imperial Mughal memoirs and European accounts of this court make it clear that they were held in high regard. It is not clear why the Mughal emperors had certain pieces such as this platter inscribed with their names, but it is possible that the names were engraved as marks of ownership or lineage. Although this platter has no decoration, it has been suggested that a gold pigment once may have been painted over the glaze, as similar platters with this type of decoration are known.
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